Last semester I began a demo in my Editorial Painting class. I wanted to show students the benefits of using Open Acrylics. But I was overly ambitious and chose an image that was way too complicated for a demo. Lost them after the first 15 minutes!&nbs...
On this cold and dreary day in April it's comforting to remember back one month to Sugarloaf Key and painting barefoot. This is the latest in my ongoing effort with open acrylics. The Big Pine Flea Market is a regular Saturday morning excursion for fre...
I had an opportunity recently to revisit the making of my giant mural. Thank you Chris Tugeau!Artist interview: huge mural painting!Tightening the drawing.
I made my first school visit last week for The Nutcracker Comes to America! My friend, Sarah Faylor, invited me to present to the Ann Arbor Hills Child Development Center. The kids were so very welcoming and sat still for almost 30 minutes. My favorite moment came when I showed them an unimpressive drawing I did at age 3 1/2 of a whale and a fish (see below). One little boy said he had a book that showed him how to draw a whale and suggested I look into purchasing it – or maybe he said I could borrow his...can't remember. I think maybe I should look into it though!
Just in time for the holidays, The Nutcracker Comes to America: How Three Ballet-loving Brothers Created a Holiday Tradition, written by the amazing Chris Barton and illustrated by yours truly is now available for purchase from Nicola's Books in Ann Ar...
Yesterday was the last work day on the mural for me. I am so very thankful that it's finally finished!! Ian helped me haul everything down from the roof last night. On Sunday the Delux crew will be back out to remove the scaffolding. Hopefully, Matt wi...
We've been busy on Oxford's roof for the last 3 weeks and yesterday was the last day of painting for my crew of three, Kyle, Andrea and Anna. Now I can stop worrying about their safety, 5 stories up!
With the exception of a few lingering days of intense heat, we've been lucky with weather. The wind was a new challenge. Patrons of Aventura were surprised when on of my laminated reference images floated down during Happy Hour and we seemed to be constantly chasing down paint cup lids. This past week with wind gusts from 20-25 knots, I was grateful that the scaffolding was anchored to the masonry.
Thank you Anderson Paint, for custom matching the sky color that was in my head – now on my fingers.
As of the middle of August we'd progressed through two scaffolding moves. I really love painting on cinder block. The texture makes it easier to blend, dry-brush style.
We've been blessed with great weather for the last month and a half, if you don't count 90+ degree days. The painting is a pleasure, but figuring out the rest of the puzzle has me up in the middle of the night. For heat relief, we found some synthetic, loosely woven cloth and configured it to hang from the scaffolding, giving us shade in the afternoon while letting the breeze it. Ahhhh...much better.
Around the first of the month we'd finished the lower mural and were ready to tackle the upper design. The projection and tracing needs to happen before the scaffolding is assembled so onto the scary ladders we go. Thanks to our ground crew, Marcia Maier, we have documentation of the process.
|Waiting for dark on a beautiful summer evening. My husband John, Ron Maier and me.|
|That's good sport and brave soul, Deb Pearson, and me tracing the projected design.|
Next comes the big move to the roof. Up we go with all the scaffolding plus our equipment and paint. Delux moved the big stuff, leaving the rest (including all the paint) to the rope and bucket brigade. Thanks to Kyle, Andrea and Anna for the backbreaking work!
|Sean, Paul and he-man helper moving the scaffolding, piece by piece to the roof (on a Sunday!).|
Delux Rental came out to do the first scaffolding move yesterday. We're starting our march down the wall and it feels good to have a chunk finished. Of course there are a few things I'd like to tweak on the now out of reach images. Ann Arbor sign painter and muralist Zeke Mallory had some valuable advise when he told me to remember that a mural is not a fine art painting. I will have to keep reminding myself of that!
The heat is proving to be a serious challenge. A weeks worth of upper 80s and low 90s on a south facing wall overlooking blacktop – with under-painting tinted in bright orange – has made it necessary to plan our day around the sun. We work on exposed areas in the morning, retreating to work under the scant scaffolding shade as the sun moves to the west. Oxford has provided a GoPro camera taking stop-action shots so using a sunscreen on the front is out of the question. My next research project is to find some kind of covering that we can use on the west end of the scaffolding to keep the late afternoon sun less brutal.
After a shaky start, the mural team of Kyle, Andrea, Anna and Cathy has made progress! I will remind you that I have never painted bigger than my drawing table so this is completely new to me. Hopefully, some of our discoveries and practices will prove...